Posts Tagged ‘Trains’

And The Train Will Always Beat You Harder

February 21, 2022

The house always wins” is a pretty basic concept.

It also applies to trains.

Heavy Thoughts

January 14, 2014

This morning, son, as I watched you play happily with “noisy Thomas” (A motorized Thomas the Tank Engine), I was struck by the thought that this was one of those heartwarming moments I was supposed to treasure.  So why, I asked myself, was I instead feeling pensive?

The answer came easily enough as I watched noisy Thomas chuff around the track on his way toward the “Gordon’s Hill” your mother had included in the layout.  Now Gordon’s Hill was a challenge I knew noisy Thomas could surmount, albeit with difficulty, but only if he wasn’t hauling any freight.  Experience had taught me that he could only barely make it up the incline alone, the addition of even one other car made his ascent practically impossible . . . and more than one made it definitively so.

Naturally, you wanted him to pull no fewer than four cars.

Don’t learn that from me, son.  Please.  It’s the wrong lesson.

But To Be Fair, I AM The Only One Who Can Do The Voice

October 21, 2013

An important milestone in any child’s development is when they are old enough to start playing “pretend.”  I knew this.

I never expected to be insulted by it though.

L., as I’ve mentioned before as recently as last Friday, loves Thomas & Friends, and recently he’s started to pretend that he’s Percy.  His mother has been cast in the role of Thomas (Percy’s best friend), and Lala is now Emily (a cute and friendly engine who is green like Percy).

And who do I get to be?

I get to be Diesel 10 (the villain).

Thanks, son, just . . . thanks.

This is about the alphabet joke, isn’t it?

An Artist In Training

June 21, 2013

I should preface this by explaining that L. is “passingly fond” of Thomas the Tank Engine, and by “passingly fond,” I mean he’s obsessed by everything about the show.  Long before I could identify the trains by sight, he was correcting me on their names, and recently his game with them has become “go find.”  Now this isn’t a problem when it’s “go find” a train he actually has, but sometimes he wants to “go find” a train he’s seen on the show, but that we don’t have.

So when I was out the other day and saw a train for sale that he didn’t have but has been trying to “find” for a while now (Spencer), I thought it would be fun to buy it for him, take it out of the package and place it on his bed, then wait a bit before asking if he wanted to “go find” Spencer.  To my satisfaction, he was predictably delighted that he had finally “found” Spencer.

This lasted all of three seconds.

Then he looked at me and asked “Go find Bill and Ben?”  (Two other trains he doesn’t have.)

Congrats, kiddo.  I think you just ran your first solo con.

(I’d feel worse about falling for this, but, honestly, some of the time I used to write this entry only came about because he went off again to “go find” Diesel 10.  I really should pick one of those up for you, kiddo, and I will.)


A Simple Training Mistake

March 13, 2013

Damn it,  I mean darn it!  I can’t even say I hadn’t been warned about this!  Heck, I even saw it in action before you could walk, son, when I tried to show you how to use your dinosaur walker by getting on my knees and walking around with it to give you the idea.  I gave you the idea, all right; you promptly got on your knees and started doing exactly what I had just shown you.

So I have no right to be surprised on this one.

But since you probably won’t remember this as clearly as I will, son, let me tell you what happened.  The other night you were asking me repeatedly to “play trains” with you.  Not really wanting to leave the couch, but not wanting to disappoint you either, I hit on what seemed to be, however briefly, a brilliant compromise.

Realizing I could reach your train table with my foot and still stay seated, I stretched out my leg and started pushing one of your trains around the track with my foot.  “See?” I told you.  “I’m playing trains.”

Honestly, I figured at worst that you just wouldn’t buy it, but instead you grinned, marched over to your train table, hoisted your leg over the side, and then did your level best to push your trains along with your own foot . . .